Walleye fishermen are ‘bugged’ between bites

Jul 1, 2020 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

By Mark Cahlik

The mayfly hatch continues to make walleye fishing tougher than normal. Between the windy weather and the big hatches of the little bugs, the walleye bite is still happening, but it has just become a little tougher.

The best catches have been reported about four miles west of North Bass and east of Kelleys Island all the way up to the weather buoy. With the weather that we have enjoyed, we have also had some nice catches. Unfortunately, it has required a long boat ride to get them.

This year’s mayfly hatches are the biggest I have ever seen. There are many mayflies still on the water and we are seeing them on our fish finders coming up from the bottom. The good news is that the walleye have plenty to eat, but the bad news is that it is going to be tougher catching the fish for about another week or so.

Those anglers who are drifting in boats and casting are still using one-ounce weapon-style spinner rigs, but now they are using the stop-and-go retrieval method. This simply means that you cast your line out and retrieve it a couple cranks, then stop for a moment before starting to retrieve the lure again.

Trollers have continued to catch limits of walleye this week with No. 40 Tru-Trip diving planers and small trolling spoons. The spoons are swimming about 50 to 70 feet behind the boat. The best speeds are 1.8 to 2.1 miles per hour. Catches this past week have been erratic, but they should start to become more consistent as the mayfly hatch starts to diminish.

For many years we have headed to Canadian hot spots, where walleye are attracted to the cooler waters at this time of year. But with the borders closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio anglers have been prevented from fishing those northern waters this year.

As we have said for the past couple of weeks, the catfish bite has remained phenomenal. Chicken livers, raw shrimp, and all the standard catfish baits have been working. Sandusky Bay remains the best place to fish for catfish.

With nice stable weather coming and the mayfly hatch coming to an end soon, you can look forward to great walleye fishing in July. Until next week, stay safe, be courteous of other fishermen out on the lake and, as always, keep a tight line.

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